Fulbright Forum – Jan 17, 2014

Phillip Kong

A Water-Soluble Extract from Actinidia arguta Manifests Its Effects on Helper T Cell Differentiation and Macrophage Activation

Abstract Actinida arguta is a type of hardy kiwi native to Japan, Korea, and some parts of China and Siberia. Few reports have indicated that consumption of Actinida arguta improved allergic diseases, such as asthma and atopic dermatitis. This project aims at uncovering the immunological roles of PG102, a water-soluble extract of Actinida arguta. The results show that PG102 has various functions in T cells and macrophages. PG102 upregulates regulatory T-cells, while Type 1 and Type 2 helper T cells are downregulated. PG102 exerts a completely different type of function in macrophages, inducing the activation of alternatively activated macrophages and favoring anti-oxidative responses. These findings accentuate the potential of PG102 being an agent for treating allergic diseases. Further characterization of PG102 in immunological aspects offers a novel way to efficiently mitigate the severity of allergic diseases by consumption of the naturally derived product.


Philip Kong received his B.S. degree from California Institute of Technology in 2013. He has participated in several research projects with supports from Caltech-SURF and AMGEN throughout his undergraduate study. He is currently visiting Seoul National University, Korea as a Fulbright researcher. His research interests include immunology, microRNAs, and complex systems biology. Philip plans to continue his graduate study in immunology starting from the Fall of 2014.